Things We Need to Know About Dizziness
What Is Dizziness?
It is a sense of unsteadiness, disorientation in space, or lightheadedness. Dizziness makes you lose your sense of balance, making you highly susceptible to falling, more than usual. Although not in all cases, some patients need immediate treatment in a 24-hour ER near them. For others, it may be a temporary problem that comes and goes within a few minutes.
Is Dizziness the Same as Vertigo?
Although the experiences might be similar, they are not exactly the same. Vertigo is often more serious than mere dizziness. Vertigo is often accompanied by other symptoms like nausea or a complete inability to move. Still, people use both terms interchangeably.
What Causes Dizziness?
Technically, dizziness is not always an indicator of a life-threatening or severe underlying health problem. If anything, the older you get, the more likely you will experience dizziness. However, it can still be a symptom of a health problem. Therefore, visiting us at Ascent Emergency Room gives you the advantage of understanding the cause of your dizziness. Some of the factors that can cause dizziness are:
- Being hungry
- Vision problems
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Hyperventilation – is typical when you have shortness of breath or have a panic attack.
- Inner ear disorders – ears play a big role in body balance. Some inner ear disorders like Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s syndrome, or bacterial ear infections can lead to dizziness.
- Low blood sugar
- Heart and vascular system conditions like low blood pressure, atherosclerosis, or irregular heartbeats can also cause vertigo.
- Brain-related conditions, like injuries, migraine headaches, or multiple sclerosis
What Should You Do When You Feel Dizzy?
Even before you can access dizziness treatment, find ways to manage your dizziness before it leads to other complications. Some tips on what to do, include:
- Sit down if you are standing – you have a lesser chance of falling when seated.
- Remove your shoes – particularly if you are wearing high heels.
- Hold on to something for support and stability
- Take water to counter dehydration
- Eat something – eat slowly to avoid other accidents like choking.
When Do You Know You Need Urgent Care?
Although dizziness can be alarming, not all cases merit urgent care in a Houston emergency room. Some factors that necessitate emergency care are:
- Slurred speech
- Prolonged dizziness
- A Stiff neck
- Tightness in your chest
- Fainting and memory loss
- High fever
- Persistent vomiting
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Numbness or a tingling sensation in your face or other parts of the body
Treatment Options for Vertigo and Dizziness
When you visit an ER for dizziness, your doctor can administer different treatments. It depends on the cause of the dizziness and its severity. Some treatment options include:
- Antibiotics to clear bacterial infections in your ears
- Medicine – vertigo medication helps manage motion sickness and nausea linked to dizziness.
- Physical exercises that can help improve balance.
- Vestibular rehabilitation – is a physical therapy that improves and strengthens the vestibular system’s function.
- Surgery – although it may be the last treatment option, it is necessary if you need further treatment for your inner ears. The stakes are higher if you have a tumor or injury in your inner ear.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Falling If You Have Vertigo or Dizziness
Even though dizziness is common and can happen to anyone, there are measures to prevent injuries and reduce the possibility of dizziness. Some include:
- Use handrails, canes, or other means of support when walking.
- Wear flat shoes only.
- Avoid driving
- Avoid standing in high places.
- Remove clutter in your home to avoid tripping on something on the floor.
- Light up your space, especially if you have vision problems.
- Get up strategically – when you wake up, sit along the edge of your bed for a few minutes before getting up. You can practice the same when getting up from a couch or any other surface.
- Avoid staying hungry for long periods – especially if you have blood sugar problems.